The news today is remembering a man known as “The Praying Judge.” He was the former chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme court, Don Barnes.
They talk about his career and all he’s seen.
But I am remembering my friend. I met Don long after his time on the court. He was a very kind man that took my husband and I under his wing when we started attending a new church. We didn’t have any friends or family there and he decided that he would just adopt us into his family.
Every Sunday he’d wrap me in a giant bear hug and tell me how much he loved me and kiss me on the cheek. He invited us to his home and told us stories about his childhood. He told us about the beautiful woman he knew in college that he would one day make his wife. And how it was because of her father he pursued law in the first place. He’d originally intended to be a preacher.
Well he was more of a minister of God in my life than preachers have been. I never told him, but it meant more than I could put into words when he told me he wanted to be my grandpa. I had just lost the only granddad I had ever known.
My heart aches today. I will miss his smiles, his hugs, and his kisses. Most of all, I’ll miss the man that chose to love us before he ever knew us. I love you too Don.